Don’t Make This Mascara Mistake

Sharing is caring!

Helen Foster
Follow me
Latest posts by Helen Foster (see all)

You know sleeping in your makeup isn’t the best choice for your skin, but it’s also not a good idea for the health of your eyes. Trust us, you’ll never sleep in your make-up again after reading this!

One day, Sydney eye specialist Dr Dana Robaie had a patient come and see her who had started to feel like something was constantly in her eye—and she also had blurred vision.

Looking closer, Dr Robaie found that over time, fragments of mascara and eyeliner had made their way into the oil glands that line the eyelids, causing scarring—and now they were trying to work their way back out! Bleurgh.

If it sounds bad, trust me—you don’t want to see the pictures. I have, and the whole red part under her eyelid was dotted with black dots from her makeup.

The patient in question said that she never removed her eye makeup, and she’d been wearing it for over 25 years, so there was a lot of potential gunk to collect.

And she’s not the only woman who has experienced issues from not taking off eye makeup at night. Another case reported in 2005 saw a woman have her eyelid biopsied as her eye doctor thought the black dot was a sign of melanoma. Only after the surgery did they find out it was make-up!

This build-up of gunk in the eye is known as conjunctival mascaroma, and it’s also been linked to the development of dry eye syndrome—an uncomfortable issue that leads to redness, a feeling of grit or burning in the eye. There have also been cases of blockages in the tear duct and these can need surgery to resolve.

Getting Into the Removal Habit

So, the moral of this story is always to remove your eye makeup before you go to bed. I know it’s annoying (I am very guilty of not doing this, but after seeing some of these pictures, I’m planning a change). To try and keep you on track, here are some suggestions for getting into the habit.

A technique called anchoring is brilliant at helping you create a new habit. It means that whenever you do something already in your routine, you do the new thing immediately after it. Eventually, your brain will start stacking the two tasks together, and you’ll start doing them automatically.

So, if you never go to bed without cleaning your teeth, put your eye makeup remover right next to your toothbrush and wipe off your make-up before you clean your teeth.

If you’re usually too tired to remove your makeup before bed, do it earlier in the evening. Again, think about anchoring it to another habit, so if you switch the kettle on when you come in, put the remover next to it. If you kick off your shoes in the hall, put the remover on the table. Or, just put the remover next to the TV remote and do it as you watch Netflix (this is also a brilliant tip for starting flossing).

If you tend to forget about removing things until you’re in bed and then can’t face getting out again, keep a pack of makeup-removing wipes next to the bed. Garnier has some that use Micellar water rather than a greasy cleanser. This can also be a good choice if you don’t like the way some eye makeup removers make your eyes feel or if they sting.

Stinging is the number one reason why I’m bad at removing my own make-up, as so many removers hurt my eyes. However, I like using Micellar water. I use the Garnier one, or if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll splash out on the Sephora one.

Remember, you only get one set of eyes, so it’s a good idea to look after them.